With everything we know about valuing players in fantasy football the following series of statements does not make any sense. Corey Davis is drafted as PPR WR27 in 2018 (Per Fantasy Football Calculator). Corey Davis finishes the 2018 season as PPR WR28. Corey Davis turns 24 years old. Corey Davis is drafted at WR38 for the 2019 season (Per Fantasy Football Calculator).

Obviously, there are more factors that go into a successful or failed season than what is highlighted in such a simplistic form. Here are some quick hits that will help dig into this claim a little deeper:

  • The most important component for Corey Davis is his quarterback, Marcus Mariota. Mariota is entering a contract year, and is coming off a season in which he played through a bevy of injuries including a broken rib and ulnar nerve damage.
  • An under the radar move that raises the floor of Davis is the addition of Ryan Tannehill as a backup Quarterback. While Tannehill is not a good NFL starter, he is a significantly above average NFL backup.
  • The Titans have changed offensive coordinators to former Tight Ends coach Arthur Smith after losing Matt LaFleur to Green Bay, because he knew Kyle Shannahan and Sean McVay. This choice is a bit of an odd one, but Smith was likely chosen to keep some form of continuity in the offense for Mariota. We don’t have any knowledge of Smith as a play caller, but it is unlikely that the Titans can go any further away from the pass. They attempted the second fewest pass attempts in the last 5 NFL seasons with a broken Marcus Mariota.
  • The Titans currently have a projected season win total of 8.5. They won 9 games in 2018.
  • The team does have a top 5 most difficult strength of schedule for 2019. They face a difficult schedule of pass defenses, but they faced one of the leagues most difficult pass defense schedules in 2018 as well per Sharp Football Stats.
  • Corey Davis was a top 5 draft pick. He has a unique blend of size and speed.
  • Davis totaled 112 overall targets in 2018 (19th in NFL) and 15 red zone targets (30th in NFL). He also received 36% of the teams end zone targets (11th in the league) per Player Profiler.
  • Tennessee added to the options available to Marcus Mariota through 2nd round pick A.J. Brown, free agent signing Adam Humphries and with the return of Delanie Walker.

 

It is my belief that Corey Davis is the most mispriced player in drafts right now. Every reader wants a sexier pitch than that, but smart players must take what is given. Davis offers a high floor, high ceiling combo from the WR position that is simply irregular for his current ADP. A few comparable receivers that I believe have similar floor/ceiling combos:

Corey Davis – 2018 season (Current ADP – WR38): 112 targets, 65 receptions, 891 receiving yards, 4 TDs

Allen Robinson – 2018 season w/ 16 game pace (Current ADP – WR33): 115 targets, 67 receptions, 928 receiving yards, 5 TDs – Outscored Davis by 0.3 points per week played

Kenny Golladay – 2018 season (Current ADP – WR18) 2018 season: 119 targets, 70 receptions, 1063 receiving yards, 5 TDs – Outscored Davis by 2.3 points per week played

Is Corey Davis truly all that different than Kenny Golladay? It seems that last year they become target funnels in run heavy unproductive offenses. This season they enter offenses with above average offensive lines, questionable quarterbacks, a fluctuating status within their division, and more weapons added/returning to the fold. This exercise isn’t used to trash Kenny Golladay, but to show that the difference between the two is really minimal and comes with a 4+ round savings.

The built in protections Davis offers are incredible. The targets may be distributed more evenly with more offensive talent around him, but the offense will assuredly throw more. They threw at minimum 500 attempts per year during Mariota’s first 3 professional seasons, with only 437 attempts last year. This should buoy Davis’ targets at the 100+ mark. It is extremely unlikely that a players see 100 or more targets and the do not finish as a top 36 WR. Additionally, within the range of outcomes is a ceiling scenario in which the combination of additional talent surrounding Davis draws coverage away, Mariota remains healthy, and returns to form from 2016 that included being one of the most efficient red zone quarterbacks in the NFL. It is possible that Davis targets would see a slight drop in this scenario, but his efficiency would in all probability increase. Davis likely has some positive touchdown regression in the upcoming seasons, and his preferred red zone role seems solidified.

As owners we often complicate the obvious, don’t do that in this case. Take a secured floor/ceiling combo as you approach the double digit rounds and use that known security to reach for even more upside at the position in selections prior to Davis creating a great blend in your WR corps going into the 2019 season.

  1. Pink Doves says:
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    .5 ppr 6pts all TD

    2 keepers at their draft round.

    Which 2 would you keep

    Zeke (2)
    Gordon (6)
    Mayfield (14)

    Cheers!

    • Pat

      Pat says:
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      Hey Pink Doves. Just wanted to check a couple of things. #1) I’m assuming you are referring to Melvin Gordon, not Josh Gordon? #2) How soon is your keeper deadline?

      Either way I probably keep Zeke . I know losing your 2nd round pick isn’t fun, but premium players are a scarce commodity. You will still have a 1st round pick to go whatever direction you want with. Get back to me on those other two questions and I’ll give you an opinion on Mayfield v Gordon.

      • Pink Doves says:
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        Yes it is Melvin. Josh wouldn’t even be a consideration.

        Keepers are due 8/3.

        Thank you!

        • Pat

          Pat says:
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          I assumed so but the keeper round value threw me off because that’s approximately where Josh was drafted last year. First of all I would wait as long as possible to make the keeper selection with MG3s situation. Personally, I would probably end up keeping MG3 either way along with Zeke. I completely understand that you are getting around 8 rounds of value on Baker, it would be nice to have a locked in QB spot, and I fully believe Baker is going to finish as a top 5 qb this year with upside to finish #1 (although not a likely scenario). My issue with Baker is the difference on a per week basis between QB5 and QB15 is probably around 3 points. If Melvin plays he gives you a significantly larger competitive advantage than that just think about the per week point contribution between him and every other teams RB2. I believe deep down he and his agent know that sitting is passing up $5.6 million dollars today for MAYBE $23-25 million in guarenteed money tomorrow (right in between Freeman and Bells guarentees). I don’t know if that gap is worth the risk and I think that he will eventually play after reality sets in. He can almost bridge that gap with the playing this season, the franchise tag next year, and Mark Ingrams contract which he would probably blow away if still healthy in two years.

          In my mind if you keep Zeke and MG3, as long as he plays, with still having 4 picks in the first 5 round you are going to have a top tier team and a huge competive advantage going into the season over almost everyone in your league. I’m just not sure if Baker separates you in that same way from the pack. Let me know what you think.

          Pat

          • Pink Doves says:
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            Thank you for the insight and your thoughts. I fully agree with you. I’ve always been pretty much set on the two RBs. Baker just gave me pause at such a late round value.

            I’ve had MG3 on my roster since his rookie season.

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